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WITH THIRTY ILLUSTRATIONS DESIGNED EXPRESSLY FOR
THE ART-UNION OE LONDON.
185L /J SI
A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.
Remote, unfriended, melanclioly, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheld or wandering Po ;
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door ;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
A weary waste expanding to the skies ; —
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravell'd, fondly turns to thee :
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain. lo
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend;
Blest be that spot where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil and trim their evening fire;
Blest that abode where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty croA^ii'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranlcs that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale, 20
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destin'd such delights to share.
My prime of life in wandering spent and care,
Impell'd, with steps unceasing, to pursue
Some fleeting good that mocks me with the view.
That, lilce the circle bounding earth and skies.
Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies;
My fortune leads to traverse realms alone.
And find no spot of all the world my own. 30
E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend;
And, plac'd on high above the storm's career.
Look downward where a hundred realms appear ;
Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide.
The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.
When thus Creation's charms around combine.
Amidst the store should thankless Pride repine?
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
That good which makes each humbler bosom vain? 40
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can.
These little things are great to little man ;
And wiser he whose sympathetic mind
Exults in all the good of all mankind.
Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendour crown' d;
Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round;
Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
Ye bending swains, that dress the flowery vale;
Eor me your tributary stores combine :
Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine. 50
As some lone miser, visiting liis store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er ;
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill.
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still;
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
Pleas'd with each good that Heaven to man supplies.
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small ;
And oft I wish amidst the scene to find
Some spot to real happiness consign'd, eo
Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below.
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas.
And his long nights of revelry and ease.
The naked negro, panting at the line.
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine, 70
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave.
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast where'er we roam.
His first best country ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share.
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
As difierent good, by art or nature given.
To different nations makes their blessings even. so
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Stni grants her bliss at labour's earnest call;
With food as well the peasant is supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side ;
4 THE TRAVELLER.
And though the rocky- crested summits frown,
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings sent ;
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content.
Yet these each other's power so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest. 90
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails ;
And honour sinlcs where commerce long prevails.
Hence every state to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone.
Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends ;
Till carried to excess in each domain.
This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try these truths with closer eyes.
And trace them through the prospect as it lies : 100
Here, for a while, my proper cares resign' d.
Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
Like yon neglected shrub, at random cast.
That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.
Par to the right, where Appenine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends ;
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side.
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride ;
While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between.
With memorable grandeur mark the scene. no
Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast.
The sons of Italy were surely blest.
Whatever fruits in different climes are found.
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground;
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear.
Whose bright succession decks the varied year ;
Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die ;
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil; 120
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand,
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.
In florid beauty groves and fields appear,
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
Contrasted faults through all his manners reign:
Though poor, luxurious ; though submissive, vain ;
Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
And even in penance planning sins anew. 130
All evils here contaminate the mind
That opulence departed leaves behind;
For wealth was theirs, nor far remov'd the date
When commerce proudly flourish' d through the state ;
At her command the palace learnt to rise,
Again the long-fallen column sought the skies ;
The canvass glow'd, beyond e'en Nature warm.
The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form :
Till, more unsteady than the southern gale,
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; uo
While nought remain' d of all that riches gave.
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave;
And late the nation found, with fruitless skill.
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride;
From these the feeble heart and long-fallen mind
An easy compensation seem to find.
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd.
The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade; 150
Processions form'd for piety and love,
A mistress or a saint in every grove.
By sports like tliese are all tlieii- cares beguil'd,
The sports of children satisfy the child.
Each nobler aim represt by long control,
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
While low delights succeeding fast behind,
In happier meanness occupy the mind :
As in those domes, where Caesars once bore sway,
Defac'd by time, and tott'ring in decay, ico
There in the ruin, heedless of the dead.
The shelter- seeking peasant builds liis shed;
And, wondering man could want the larger pile.
Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display,
Where the black Swiss their stormy mansion tread.
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread;
No product here the barren hills afford.
But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. no
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array.
But winter lingering chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast.
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
Yet still, e'en here, content can spread a charm,
Bedress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though small,
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head.
To shame the meanness of his humble shed; jso
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loathe his vegetable meal;
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil.
Each wish contracting, tits him to the soil.
Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes ;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the steep ;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
And drags the struggling savage into day. loo
At night returning, every lahour sped,
He sits him down the monarch of a shed ;
Smiles hy his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard.
Displays her cleanly platter on the board :
And haply too some pilgrim thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus every good liis native wilds impart
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart; 200
And e'en those hills that round his mansion rise
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies :
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill wliich lifts him to the storms;
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest.
Clings close and closer to the mother's breast.
So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charms to barren states assign' d;
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd: 210
Yet let them only share the praises due,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few ;
For every want that stimulates the breast
Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest ;
Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies,
That first excites desire and then supplies.
Unknown to them when sensual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid pause with finer joy;
Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame.
Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. 220
Their level life is but a mouldering fire,
Unquencli'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire,
Unfit for raptures ; or, if raptures cheer
On some high festival of once a year.
In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
TiU, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow ;
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low ;
!For, as refinement stops, from, sire to son
Unalter'd, unimprov'd, the manners run; 230
And love's and friendship's finely-pointed dart
Pall blunted from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast
May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;
But all the gentler morals, such as play
Through life's more cultur'd walks and charm the way,
These, far dispers'd, on timorous pinions fly
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn; and Prance displays her bright domain. 240
Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleas'd with thyself, whom all the world can please,
How often have I led thy sportive chou'.
With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire 1
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And freshen' d from the wave the zephyr flew :
And haply, though my harsh touch, falt'ring still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill ;
Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,
And dance forgetful of the noontide hour. 250
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze ;
And the gay grandsire, skill' d in gestic lore.
Has frisk' d beneath the burden of threescore.
THE TRAVELLER. 9
So blest a life these tliouglitless realms display,
Thus idly busy rolls their world away :
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
For honour forms the social temper here.
Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
Or even imaginary worth obtains, 200
Here passes current; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts, in splendid traffic, round the land :
Erom courts, to camps, to cottages it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise ;
They please, are pleas' d, they give to get esteem,
Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.
But while this softer art their bliss supplies.
It gives their follies also room to rise;
Eor praise, too dearly lov'd or warmly sought.
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought ; 270
And the weak soul, within itself unblest.
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
Hence Ostentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;
Here Vanity assumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frize with copper lace;
Here beggar Pride defrauds her daily cheer.
To boast one splendid banquet once a year;
The mind stiU turns where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. 280
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Metliinks her patient sons before me stand,
Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onwards, methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow ;
10 THE TRAVELLER.
Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore ; 290
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphihious world heneath him smile ;
The slow canal, the yellow-hlossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted hank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation rescued from his reign.
Thus, while around the wave-suhjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toU,
Industrious hahits in each hosom reign.
And industry begets a love of gain. 300
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings.
Are here display' d. Their much-loved wealth imparts
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts ;
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear,
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here.
At gold's superior charms all freedom flies,
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys :
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves.
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, 310
And calmly bent to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
Heavens ! how unlilve their Belgic sires of old !
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold ;
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow ;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now !
Eir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing,
And flies where Britain courts the western spring ;
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride.
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspes glide; 320
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle music melts on every spray ;
THE TRAVELLEU. 11
Creation's mildest charms are there com.birL'd,
Extremes are only in the master's mind !
Stern o'er each bosom Reason holds her state,
With daring aims irregularly great ;
Pride in their port, defiance in then eye,
I see the lords of hnman kind pass by ;
Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band.
By forms unfashioned fresh from Nature's hand, 330
Pierce in their native hardiness of soul.
True to imagin'd right, above control.
While even the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, Preedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here,
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear ;
Too blest indeed were such without alloy.
But foster'd e'en by Preedom ills annoy ;
That independence, Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie; 340
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone.
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown ; ...
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd.
Perments arise, imprison' d factions roar,
E-eprest ambition struggles round her shore.
Till over-wrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, 350
Pictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law.
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to these alone.
And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown ;
Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms,
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms,
12 THE TRAVELLEE.
Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,
Where Things have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame,
One sink of level avarice shall lie,
And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die. 36o
Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state,
I mean to flatter kings or court the great ;
Ye powers of truth that hid my soul aspire,
Par from my bosom drive the low desire ;
And thou, fan' Preedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage and tyrant's angry steel ;
Thou transitory flower, alike undone
By proud contempt or favour's fostering sun.
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure,
I only would repress them to secure ; 370
For just experience tells, in every soil.
That those who think must govern those that toil ;
And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach
Is but to lay proportion' d loads on each.
Hence, should one order disproportion' d grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
Oh, then how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspnes !
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms.
Except when fast-approaching danger warms : 380
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to stretch their own ;
When I behold a factious band as-ree
To call it freedom when themselves are free ;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw.
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
The wealth of climes where savage nations roam
Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start.
Tear off reserve, and bear my swelling heart ; 390
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour
When first ambition struck at regal power ;
And thus polluting honour in its source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
Have we not seen round Britain's peopled shore
Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore ?
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste.
Like flaring tapers, bright'ning as they waste ? 400
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead stern depopulation in her train.
And over fields where scatter' d hamlets rose.
In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call.
The smiling long-frequented village fall ?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay' d.
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Porc'd from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main ; 410
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around.
And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound ?
Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
Through tangled forests and through dangerous ways,
Wliere beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim ;
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And aU around distressful yells arise.
The pensive exile bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, 420
Casts a long look where England's glories shine.
And bids his bosom sympathise with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind :
14 THE TRAVELLER.
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows ?
In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure.
That part which laws or kings can cause or cm^e, 430
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd.
Our own felicity we make or find :
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy.
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted axe, the agonising wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
To men remote from power but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
3nk.t ta tjie SlliHtratintiH,
J. Gilbert, after Sir Joshua Reynolds . . . Engraved by H. D. Llnton.
I. . .
. 13 to 16 . 1.
' Blest be that spot' ....
. . J. Gilbert
. J. Thompson.
II. . .
. 17— 19 . I .
' Blest be those feasts ' ...
. . E. H. CORBODLD . . .
. J. Cooper.
III. . .
. 23— 24 . : .
. ' But me, not destined' . . .
. . J. Absolon ....
. W. G. Mason.
IT. . .
. 31— 36 . ! .
. . J. Maktin
. L. C. Martin .
V. . .
. 105—107 . i .
' Far to tlie right'
. . J. D. Harding . . .
. H. ViZETELLT.
VI. . .
. 108—110 . i .
'Woods over woods' ....
. . W. L. Lr.iTCH ....
. W. Measom.
VII. . .
. 113—120 . i .
' Whatever fruits '
. . W. E. Frost, A.R.A. .
. J. Thompson.
VIII. . .
. 123—126 . ; .
' But small the bliss ' . . . .
. . K. HUSKISSON ....
IX. . .
. 133—135 . .
' For wealth was theirs' ...
. . C. Stanfield, R.A. . .
. W. T. Green.
X. . .
133 . \ .
' The pregnant quarry' ...
. . E. H. Wehnert . . . ■
. W. J. Linton.
XI. . .
. 141—142 . j .
' While nought remained' , .;
. . C. Stanfield, K.A. . .
. W. T. Green.
XII. . .
. 150—151 . 1 .
' The pasteboard triumph ' . . :
. . F. GOODALL ....
. W. Measom.
XIII. . .
. 159—164 . \ .
' As in those domes' . . . . !
. . W. L. Leitch ....
. W. J. Linton.
XIV. . .
. 167— 1G8 . ; .
' Where the black Swiss ' . . i
. . F. Tayler
. C. T. Thompson.
XV. . .
. 169—170 . i .
' No product here' ]
. . F. Tayler
. J. Thompson.
XVI. . .
187 . : .
' With patient angle '....:
. . G. DODGSON . . . . 1
. J. L. Williams.
XVII. . .
. 189—190 . i .
' Or seeks the den' :
. . K. Ansdell ....
. W. T. Green.
XVIII. . .
. 191—198 . -•
' At night returning '....'[
. . J. Gilbert
. H. Vizetellt.
XIX. . .
. 243—254 . 1 .
' How often' :
. . J. J. Jenkins . . . . i
. E. Dalziel. —^
XX. . .
. 275—276 . I .
' Here vanity assumes ' . . . i
. . E. M. Ward, R.A. . . \
. M. Jackson.
XXI. . .
295 . i .
' The crowded mart' . . . . ;
. . E. Duncan \
. H. 0. Smith.
XXII. . .
. 305—308 . j .
' But view them closer' . . .;
. . E. Armitage . . . . i
. C. T. Thompson.
XXIII. . .
. 319—320 . ; .
• Where lawns extend ' . . . ;
. . W. Parrott . . . . ]
. J. W. Whympeb.
XXIV. . .
. 327—328 . •
' Pride in their port' ....
. . R. HUSKISSON . . . . i
. C. T. Thompson.
XXV. . .
. 329—330 . 1 -
' Intent on high designs ' . . . ;
. . W. C. Thomas ... I
. J. Thompson.
XXVI. . .
345 . L
' Ferments arise '
. . J. Leech j
. H. 0. Smith.
XXVII. . .
366 . ; .
' The rabble's rage' . . . . ;
. . E. M. Ward, R.A. . . :
. M. Jackson.
XXVIII. . .
. 397—412 . : .
' Have we not seen ' . . . . i
. . F. W. HULME . . . . j
. J. L. Williams.
XXIX. . .
. 419—421 . L .
' The pensive exile' . . . .1
. . F. W. Topham . . . :
. G. Dalziel.
XXX. . .
433 . i .
' With secret coui-se' . . . . j
. . E. H. COBBOULD . . . :
. Martin & Corbould
Ptinttlr 6s JLtbts, Sofison, anB jFtanfelsn,
Great New Street, Fetter Lane.
W E, FR08T, A.R I
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